Do you scribble absentmindedly when your children are trying to get you to listen? Do your children doodle while you are trying to get and keep their attention? Do your children doodle when you think they should be doing their schoolwork?

If you answered “yes” to all the above, stop and think about doodling. Doodling is scribbling or drawing absentmindedly with a pen, pencil, marker, or crayon on any piece of paper or notebook. Anyone of any age can doodle regardless of the degree of artistic ability. Drawing any kinds of marks on any kind of paper that feels good and might have no purpose is doodling.

And doodling is good for you!

Doodling may be just the break your brain needs to keep attending without losing total interest. Even American presidents have found themselves sketching away: 26 of 44 American presidents doodled (Srini Pillay, MD). Theodore Roosevelt doodled animals and children and Ronald Reagan drew cowboys and football players.

Doodling has many benefits according to Doodling changes your state of mind from frazzled to focused and peaceful. Doodling helps you concentrate and learn better. It alleviates stress and helps to process emotions. When a safety valve is needed, doodling can help release negative emotions and feelings.

It can be a creative outlet. Doodling can even help you think and see the big picture. Think of GOOGLE and all the ways people doodle on the Google logo.

Sunni Brown in the book “The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently” says it improves focus, improves short-term memory, reduces stress levels, and adds to your personality. Doodling can be unleashed to innovate and solve problems. Doodles are the free flow of uninhibited symbols, clues to creative and imaginative thinking.

We are visual creatures. When you doodle an image that captures the essence of an idea, you not only remember it, but you also help other people understand and act on it — Tom Wujec

In his blog, Tom Herbert ( says the shape and objects drawn, color used, and the position of the scribble on the page can supply clues to personalities. Doodles can reveal if we are selfish or feeling pressure. Doodles are an outward expression of our unconscious thoughts. Many people do not want others to see their doodles. Yet, as an art form, it is to be admired.

Doodles are like little maps that guide us in the exploration of people’s psyches. — Tracey Trussell

Jessie Obeson Moore says there are 4 Easy (and Fun!) Ways to Start Doodling: lines and marks, letters, geometric shapes, and faces. There are several videos on YouTube to show you how to doodle if you need instruction. 10 Easy Drawing/Doodle Ideas to Try When You Are Bored at Home (9:21); Super Quick Doodle Art Ideas for Beginners (5.17); How to Doodle: Coming Up with Ideas (6:12): 50 Bullet Journal Doodle Ideas (13:18)

National Doodle Day is Sept. 20. Practice up on your doodling so that you can enjoy it on National Doodle Day.

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at